tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC October 2, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
warren/brown debate. >> if you're going to comment on my record i would have you refer to -- >> can we just -- if this is going to be -- >> excuse me. i'm not a student in your classroom. please let me respond, okay. thank you. >> plus, there they go again. those inmates at the famous filipino prison hit the yard gangham style. ♪ >> and good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. only one day to go before mitt romney faces off against president obama in denver and our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows voters across the nation are placing more importance on these debates than the last time a sitting president ran and was challenged. joining me chris cizilla, managing editor of post politics.com and nbc political editor mark murray. mark, first to you, go through the numbers on the new nbc
news/"wall street journal" poll. others have shown tightening of the race. when you asked voters whether they are looking to these debates more than last time did. >> people are paying attention. four in ten saying this is going to matter, be important to their vote, although worth noting about six in ten of the people said this wasn't going to be all that important. when you dig inside the numbers it shows that key parts of president obama's coalition african-americans, latinos, are actually putting a high importance on the debates which actually kind of shows the challenge that mitt romney has to actually get his side as enthusiastic about it. >> a shrinking group of undecided voters, chris cizilla, what is the strategy of both sides to reach those people who are still undecided? >> you saw the clip you played with mitt romney in colorado, president obama on sunday night in las vegas, both basically what they both said is the media wants this to be a back and forth brawl, we're going to be serious and focus on the issues
because they understand that when it comes to undecided voters, tend to be people, not always, politically independent. those kind of people don't like the nastiness, the back and forth. partisans love that. but independents don't like it. the messaging is i'm a serious person, these are serious times, and we need someone who has the ability, capacity, demonstrated record to lead. so i actually think both of them will be kind of the serious and sober politician as opposed to you showed the clip of scott brown and elizabeth warren, i don't think that's what's going to happen tomorrow night. >> mark, we've seen a lot of evidence so far and see more when we go through the numbers tonight in the nbc news "wall street journal" poll the final numbers when they come out how important do you think the 47% comment is? because we've seen a real shift with mitt romney trying to show his empathy. he uses the term empathy, caring, how much he cares about middle-class voters? >> we're going to see that come
up as a question i'm pretty sure at the debate and you look at the polls that have come out before the nbc/"wall street journal" poll, i will not give away the stuff chuck will be reporting on tonight but in other surveys there have been damage done by the 47%. i don't think it's been fatal. a lot of the national polls have been showing a tight race with president obama around 49, 50%, mitt romney in the mid 40s or so, so mitt romney is within striking distance right now but there's no doubt that 47% comment did hurt him. >> chris cizilla, a decision today in pennsylvania, a legal decision. >> yep. >> which could have a big impact because if pennsylvania ever were going to be in play, now it will not according to what the republican hopes had been. this was the voter i.d. law and struck down by a judge, said there's no way to get voter i.d.s to so many people in time for election day. >> right. this was always i think because as you point out, a narrow
timeline, five weeks to the day from the election, but what this does is it does not put that strict voter i.d. law in place for pennsylvania. and i think barring some change or data i've not seen, i'm not convinced pennsylvania was in play even if law had been upheld. i just don't think the votes add up for republicans in pennsylvania. i always say it's like charlie brown, lucy and the football. every time charlie brown tries to kick the football, lucy pulls it away. that's pennsylvania for republicans. look at the numbers and say theoretically we can get there but ultimately can never get there. s there this ruling is an icing or cherry on top. i don't think they would have won the state regardless, less likely today. >> and when you look at the fact that early voting is starting in ohio, iowa, all these states already voting, how does that affect the way the candidates are spending their time and
money? >> you're actually seeing them literallies and president obama's rallies he had been going to in ohio last week, were all about getting the early vote out, making sure people were registered and saying hey, remember, folks, october 2nd, start voting early. you're seeing that more active than from the romney campaign. paul ryan was out in iowa, iowa is a state having some early voting, according to our inbed out there, paul ryan wasn't making the same exhortations to the republicans in his audience to get them to go vote early. you're seeing two strategies by the obama and romney campaigns. >> what else do we learn from the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll in terms of their attitudes towards the debate? >> just on the debate front, as i was kind of saying, bill mcinturf had a conference call with us and saying -- i can't give away the data but unless there is something extraordinary -- >> point out bill is the republican half of the peter hart/mcinturf team, they work for nbc news.
>> he was looking at the data and remarkable how stable it is. unless there's something really ka the ta chris mick or jarring it's going to be hard to knock these numbers out of what we've seen. it will be interesting to see the headline of what the split is between president obama and mitt romney. but bill mcinturf the republican pollster was saying it's going to have to have some kind of jolt to make the race not as stable as it looks right now. >> thanks so much. you never know. >> remember poland and eastern europe and several of the other races that were decided by things that happen late in the race. thank you very much. and to chris cizilla. joining me from denver, with an insider's perspective, the president's debate preparations, robert gibbs, senior adviser to the obama campaign and the president's former press secretary. you have been there, done that. you know this president. you know him as a candidate. what is going on behind the scenes today? >> well look, i know they're doing, you know, they're doing some prep, some mock debates,
obviously, you know, the president's got a very busy day job that's taking him away from time to do this sort of thing and quite frankly it's been four years, you know, since he's been in this arena. so i know he's anxious and excited to get in front of the american people and talk specifics about the issues, to talk about how we continue to build this economy and strengthen it going forward over the course of the next four years. >> and in terms of the defense that he has to play, the romney team are attacking him for not creating a budget, in three years, of course the argument the counter argument would be the republicans for three out of the four years were in charge and -- at least one house, and were blocking him in the senate. but they will come at him on the economy. what is the response going to be? >> well look, i think the president -- the response obviously is two fold. let's talk about where we've come from, losing 800,000 jobs a month to 30 plus months of positive private sector job
growth, added 5 million jobs, you know, since we hit the bottom and -- but i think what's most important and voters want to hear is what you going to do as president going forward and i think the president will be anxious to talk about bringing manufacturing jobs back from overseas and putting americans back to work, improving our educational system, recruiting and training math and science teachers to get our children prepared for those important jobs. >> those are goals. those are goals and mitt romney has goals. but when are -- >> no, no andrea -- >> specific. >> it is not a goal to end tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas and incentivize them to come back and create a million jobs in manufacturingp. we've seen the greatest increase in manufacturing jobs in more than 20 years under this president. so we have a sense of what has to happen in order to bring those businesses back and create those jobs. those aren't goals. you know, reducing our dependence on foreign oil by increasing our domestic
production incentivizing clean energy to create jobs and put people back to work, those aren't goals, those are plans to continue to move this economy forward. look, i also hope that mitt romney will take some of the time paul ryan didn't want to take in his interview this weekend and try to explain the arithmetic behind their budget. paul ryan said it would take too long to explain their budget plan. the problem isn't the time and explanation. it's the math that's involved to make the statements that mitt romney and paul ryan have said line up to being anything close to the truth. and i think that governor romney will likely whether he likes it or not have an opportunity to try to explain how you pay for a $5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, and not have it end up as every study has shown raising taxes on middle-class families. >> they've come up wait new study today where they say i think with what you could call dynamic scoring, that tax reform will produce economic growth if
you want to prebutt that. >> well, you know, andrea, you and i both have been in washington a long time. and when the math doesn't add up, somebody comes up with these unique economic theories that somehow despite the fact that the numbers don't equal up, trust us, because everything will work out just fine. that's exactly what's gotten us into this mess. that's why when barack obama walked in to the oval office the first day in 2009 and we were a trillion dollars in the hole for that fiscal year. let's be clear. if you want to be straight with the american people and the american people want you to be straight with them, you owe it to the american people to explain not through, you know, mumbo jumbo or fuzzy math or voodo economics how do you get $5 trillion and not end up raising taxes on the middle class to pay for a tax cut for people like mitt romney. nothing could be more important in this race than an explanation of these economic plans, whether it's from the middle out by the
president or from the top down by mitt romney. >> now, one of the things about barack obama that you know from having worked so closely with him is that sometimes he can be a little professorial, not to put down professors, but in a debate you have to think about the clock and think about the punchy line. is it a challenge for his current team to get him to speak in sound bites? >> well look, i used to joke with him it takes him 30 seconds to clear his throat sometimes. and look, i think -- look there's no doubt that, you know, you've got a very small window of time and brevity is certainly important and as i said earlier, andrea, the president hasn't done these formats in four years. mitt romney has done these pretty recently as part of 20 republican debates, but look, i have no doubt that the president will be well prepared and look, i don't actually think this debate is going to be decided by some snappy zinger or snappy sound bite. i think the american people, particularly the undecided
voters that you, chris and mark were talking about, are really looking for these candidates to discuss what they want to do economically and domestically going forward for the next four years. i don't think, you know, snappy slogans are what's going to win it. good, honest, discussion of the issues and the plans moving forward and i think that's going to be okay for president obama. >> how hard is it to coach the president of the united states and tell him, no, sir, that's wrong, you've got it wrong or should try this or do that? how does he take constructive criticism? >> look, everybody, whether you're the president or whether you might be my 9-year-old, sometimes it's always -- it's never always easy to tell them something like that. but look, again, i think, you know, the president understands how important these are and again i think more than anything, the president really looks forward to, you know, having this really this discussion with the american people. i don't really think this is,
you know, you guys were saying, i don't think this is going to be some knock down, slug fest. at least that's no, not how the president approaches these. the governor may want to be more negative on that score than we want to. we want to have that direct conversation with the american people and look, the president understands and, you know, listens to a whole lost of people and take -- host of people and takes constructive criticism whether in debates or a meeting about how to solve these problems. he's used to this. >> now i know that this is a domestic policy debate, but the republicans have been raising a lot of questions, as have some democrats, about the libya aftermath and the fact that there wasn't enough security, arguably, and that some intelligence may have been overlooked. the president does seem to be on the defensive about this. if you were back in the white house how would you respond
about the criticisms the way benghazi was hand snld. >> nobody cares more about finding out exactly what happened and exactly what the security situation was in benghazi than the president does. we lost a remarkable public servant. we lost four americans in that awful terrorist attack. we owe it to the american people and their families to figure out what happened. i know that state department and the white house are reviewing this. thomas pickering as you know, a very respected leader in foreign policy, is heading an investigation to figure this out. nothing is more important. you know, the middle east as we know is a very, very dangerous place. and we have to keep our guard up even as we are engaged in that region of the world in bringing many of these new countries into really the democratic sphere. this is the first time they've been able to elect their leaders. i was heartened as many were to watch the demonstrations in libya that followed that
terrorist ait tack, with 30,000 in the street, you know, demanding that those militias and those, you know, terrorists and islamic militias are disbanded. that gives us, you know, great hope for, you know, what can happen in a place like libya. >> thanks so much, robert gibbs, see you in denver, be there tomorrow. >> thanks, andre ya. >> up next, the testy senate debate in massachusetts. and still ahead, mitt romney's debate strategy. we'll talk to his top adviser kevin madden. join us in denver at the site of the first presidential debate. among our guests obama depppy campaign manager stephanie cutter, michael benefit and jim talent. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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in the most expensive senate race in massachusetts history and one that could decide control of the senate senator scott brown and elizabeth warren as democratic challenger clashed in their second debate last night. both made hits, runs and errors during the debates sponsored by u mass lowell and moderated by david gregory. nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell live in lowell mass and there for all the action last night. this was quite a it tough debate. sharp contrast, kelly, two moments that stood out to me and first was that elizabeth warren when asked by david gregory whom would she work with she didn't realize dick lugar lost his senate primary race. let's watch. >> can you name some republicans in the senate today that you are able to work with on big issue, substantive issues that the
country faces. >> probably richard lugar would be one that would come to mind. >> he's not going to be there. >> let me -- >> who else could you name, senator? >> that is a problem. >> and then scott brown, i guess he couldn't figure out whether he wanted to go right or left when asked about the supreme court. >> who's your model supreme court justice? >> let me see. here that's a great question. i think justice scalia is a very good judge, justice kennedy. justice kennedy is, obviously, very good and justice roberts. justice sew mow meyer. >> what was your impression being there, kelly, as to his strange response there? >> it was really unexpected and i think it was influenced if you will, by the murmurs in the audience. david had urged the audience not to get involved during the
debate and by and large they didn't. in these two instances you could almost feel the embarrassment sweep over the candidates and they are under a lot of pressure, certainly. greg gri wasn't asking if it was a current member. you could imagine brown might have gone back to some historical figure but he struggled a bit. republicans today are saying that both ted kennedy and john kerry voted to confirm scalia and it was a 98-0 vote. democrats are seizing on it and talking about some of the positions that scalia has take than they feel are too conservative. too conservative is not what scott brown wants to be associated with in trying to appeal to especially democrats in massachusetts who might be willing to cross over and vote for him. he's under a real disadvantage with the registration here, so many more democrats and as you've been watching the polling there are 18% of those who have been questioned who aren't sure which way they want to go. for elizabeth warren, i was struck by the fact that four years ago, similar question to then senator barack obama, who
does he feel he can work wi, he mentioned dick lugar. perhaps that's something that popped into her head. not realizing he lost his primary and will not be in the senate. she did not come up with another name and that reaction was an uncomfortable moment for her. the slish for her is could she work across party lines because brown has paint her as being in lockstep with democrats. those are sensitive areas for both candidates that really came out in those moments that were unaccountanted. -- unexpected. >> another trend or tactic he seemed to be using where he kept trying to put her in this ivory tower. watch this. >> she's, obviously, misstating the facts. these were rejection by both democrats and republicans, professor. there wasn't a -- if you're going to comment on my record i would have you refer to it -- >> excuse me. we're not -- >> excuse me. i'm not a student in your classroom. please let me respond, okay.
thank you. >> okay. what was that all about? >> again, another one of those audience moments where we couldn't tell were they booing or surprised. consistently scott brown refers to elizabeth warren as professor warren. david asked about that. he said it is a title she's earned. i'm doing it out of respect. this undercurrent that perhaps it is trying to set her into an elitist mold while he keeps trying to position himself as a guy who could appeal to the every man. he's scott brown who drives a truck. that's a big part of his image and theme as he tries to portray himself to voters. there was that subtle again and again professor, professor, professor. she said it didn't bother her at all, but i guess it's open to voters to see how it makes them feel. >> kelly o'donnell on what is perhaps the most interesting of all of these senate races, but then again, there's todd akin. we'll get to that. >> exactly. more people are concerned about
obama/romney this was a heck of a debate and if you love politics it's one to look up on-line. it was quite something to watch. >> indeed. looks like you had a great time as well. thank you. >> we did. >> and up next, the politico briefing, the pitfalls to avoid tomorrow night. stay with us. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening.
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in today's politico briefing, what are president obama's challenges tomorrow night? politico has its list and politico's executive editor jim vand high joins us now. the kinds of things the president has to be weary of, the president on september 11th, 2008, at a service nation summit, let's watch. >> washington is broken. my campaign has been premised from the start on the idea that we have top fundamentally change how washington works. >> so i assume you're going to
suggest mitt romney could now say, what have you changed? how have you fixed it? >> it's a long list of quotes that the president has had about things he would do in office, whether reforming immigration right away, turning around the economy, changing the tone in washington. romney wants and needs to use those words against him in a debate to paint a picture of a presidency that has not been a success and make the case there needs to be change. so far he's not successfully prosecuted that case and i think the debate is best and maybe last chance to effectively make it to create more of an opportunity for him to talk about how things would be different under a romney administration. >> and the next year in 2009, on the today program he said give me three years or else i'm out of here. take a look at this. >> right. >> if i don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition. >> so he said it himself.
that -- >> right. >> the voters would be judging him in three years as to whether he achieved it. >> on that quote on the economy and those other quotes from earlier in the presidency he promised to get unemployment down, certainly down below 8% by election day. that's not going to to be achieved and where republicans are trying to hit him hardest on, lots of big promises, ideas, not lots of big results. the frustration in the romney camp those attacks have not worked over the last couple months. spent a lot of money on advertising to make that very case and so far it's not breaking through. largely because of a lot of missteps on romney's part have overshadowed some of the media scrutiny of president obama. >> one of the biggest missteps likely the 47,000 -- >> 47%. >> 47%, rather. that clearly is something that is going to be front and center of the debate when he's got to somehow try to persuade people
that he cares about them, empathetic and he isn't writing off half the electorate. >> a reason if you live in northern virginia like i do you can't watch a program without seeing that ad now that obama campaign is running where they use the voiceover of him talking about the 47% and putp up those images of the people covered by the 47%. very effective. lots of polling over the last couple days that show that message is really breaking through, that people are aware of this debate over his comments and that it's hurting mitt romney because it plays into a caricature that the obama campaign has tried to paint of mitt romney from the beginning of this campaign. i'm certain president obama will use that quote against him repeatedly in the debate tomorrow and mitt romney has to figure out how to pivot from that and make the case against barack obama. >> thanks so much, jim vandehei. we're going to be watching. >> thank you. >> how is mitt romney now preparing for the big debate? we'll talk to his top adviser
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when president obama and governor romney take the stage in denver tomorrow, it's going to be their first time meeting in -- first face-to-face meeting in nearly five years. what is governor romney's strategy? joining me, romney campaign senior adviser kevin madden. looks beautiful out there. can't wait to get to denver tonight. >> beautiful denver, colorado. it's wonderful. >> let's talk about your strategy. this is obviously very, very important for governor romney. he's been rehearsing and rehearsing. what do you see as the most important challenge or opportunity for him? >> well, i think the most important opportunity is the chance to talk directly to the american public. you know, often times in these campaigns people's opinions are form by 30 second advertising, a lot negative against the president, president obama's run
millions of dollars of negative ads against governor romney and this is chance to cut through the clutter and talk to the american people about the issues they care about, namely the economy. governor romney has an ability, a chance to talk to these voters that don't feel like the last four years have -- that american economy has lived up to its potential. they don't feel like job growth is where it needs to be, like take home pay is where it needs to be. the chance to talk to those voters is an incredible opportunity and one that the governor hopes to seize tonight. >> of course the romney forces, the super pacs and your campaign, have also spent millions of dollars, the only question is which side is getting through to more people. this is what robert gibbs, one of your counter partss, a big supporter and surrogate and former press secretary for the president had to say earlier on the program. >> if you want to be straight with the amecan people and the american people want you to be straight with them, you owe it to the american people to explain not through, you know,
mumbo jumbo or fuzzy math or voodo economics how do you get $5 trillion and not end up raising taxes on the middle class to pay for a tax cut for people like mitt romney? >> now, romney supporters, romney team has put out the campaign has put out today that through dynamic scoring you believe that tax reform will increase economic growth to the point where you will get those savings. and make up for what you're spending on the tax cuts. but most people would argue that -- that those numbers don't add up, it's too risky to cut taxes and blow another hole in the deficit and then hope that economic growth will somehow fill that hole later on. >> well, i think what andrea, what most people have seen is over the last fou years the economy hasn't grown. we haven't seen the job growth we need, we haven't seen the type of -- and we've seen trillions of dollars in deficits from this president. so governor romney put out early on in this campaign put out a 59-point plan a comprehensive plan to put america back to
work. i think tonight's going to be another opportunity to talk about a number of these issue silos important to americans when they look at essentially all the cost pressures they have in their household. first is the tax reform. fundamental tax reform across the board which is going to help americans put more money in their pockets for those middle class americans that do a lot of the spending in this country and i think they need it the most. >> will governor romney explain? >> on issues like health care, those are also issues that the governor will address comprehensively and talk about the specifics of how it would help households keep more money and going to help grow the entire economy. >> kevin, excuse me, sorry, didn't mean to interrupt you. >> no worries, sorry. >> will governor romney tomorrow night in denver explain exactly which deductions he would get rid of to make up for the tax cuts that he's offered? >> well, i think it's very hard in a debate to go through a negotiation, particularly when you look at broadening the tax base you're going to have to do
it with congress. it's hard to get into those details. he will talk about the fundamental principles that he has with regards to tax form, helping the corporate rate which makes us more competitive around the globe, helping make sure that the taxes that many americans, middle-class americans would see on cap gains and interest and dividends that those would actually be brought to zero so more people can invest their money and realize more savings and returns and then ultimately look at the broadening the base so we can pay for these tax reforms and we can help spur the economic growth that we need that's going to create jobs and help turn the american economy around. >> do you agree or does mitt romney now believe that todd akin should still step aside and get out of the race and that what he said was so offensive and wrong wrong he should not be the republican candidate? >> yeah. governor romney made very clear at -- when i'm sorry when congressman akin made those remarks he disagreed with them entirely and could not stand by
them and that hasn't changed. >> and so he's not going to go along with other republicans in the senate campaign committee and people like roy blount who's major figure in your own campaign, senator blount, and former senator kip bond who have endorsed todd akin? >> yeah. i can't speak for governor bond and senator blount, but governor romney has made his position very clear on that and it has not changed. >> and what about what chris christie had to say the other day on "meet the press," told david gregory that on thursday morning it's going to be a new race, he said mitt romney's going to be standing on the same stage with the president and i'm telling you come thursday morning the entire narrative of this race is going to change? >> well, look, campaigns are very hard, there's a lot of -- of course, a lot of high stakes in the debates with governor christie i love his optimism. the governor feeds off that optimism. many members of the campaign continue to feed off it. i don't think any one moment will fundamentally alter this
race. it's going to be close to the very end, we're preparing like it's going to be very close. i think the obama campaign is preparing like it's going to be very close and i think we're going to be in a very good position after this debate to go all the way to election day and be in a position to win. so that's where our focus remains. >> kitchen madden, good luck tomorrow night. we'll see you out there in denver. thanks so much. >> thanks very much. >> and up next, your viewers guide to those debate moments we all remember. how many were really game changes? a royal stark to best cancer awareness month. buckingham palace in the pink among seven landmarks today. supporting the battle against breast cancer. at home the white house is going pink. an estimated 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the united states this year. the centers for disease control says that the best protection against breast cancer is screening and early detection. my doctor told me calcium is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d
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were four years ago? >> senator, i served with jack kennedy. i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> he's very likable. i agree with that. i don't think i'm that bad. >> you're likable enough, hillary. >> thank you. >> likable enough. and that was a moment in new hampshire. some game changing moments from debates past and present and could tomorrow night's debate produce anything as memorable. one thing important, ruth, john, we've lived through these debate moments but they're not all game changers. arguably some of those moments like lloyd bentsen and dan quayle didn't change anything because michael dukakis in the final presidential debate showed sort of a remarkable lack of human affect you might say in response to bernie schultz question. >> that didn't help the game
from dukakis' point of view. lloyd bentsen's line was great line. >> well rehearsed. >> well delivered, well rehearsed. what do we remember from 2008? no lines. that was not a game changing debate between senator obama and senator mccain. >> not the way it was during the primary races. one of the things that you learned from that moment with benson and quayle, is they have been watching dan quayle, this young, some would say not fully prepared senator, and not prepared for the national stage, and watching how he kept comparing himself to john f. kennedy to show that kennedy was also young and they were ready to pounce with that. >> these guys have been on both sides known each other, going to be their opponents, reviewing individual yes videotapes, studied about them, forgetting about whether mitt romney has zingers or not they
have some prepared lines ready but more important what overall kind of meta impression is that people get of these people. for mitt romney the challenge is great. a lot of work to do on the stage and one of the most fundamental things americans still have fundamental doubts about whether they see him as a potential president. apart from whether he can prosecute a case against obama he has this bigger thing to do, solve a problem with the fact that a lot look at him and don't see him, they have doubts, a lot of undecided voters are not there with mitt romney yet. >> but also the sort of the look of the whole thing and appearances matter. mitt romney, tall, imposing. both of these men are tall, they look presidential. so just appearing on that stage, with the president of the united states, helps the challenger. >> it helps the challenger but think about, for example, mitt romney's challenge versus ronald reagan's challenge in 1980, ronald reagan's challenge was to convince people that the viewers out there, that he had the
gravitas, the intellectual force to be president. he didn't have to convince them he was likable. that seems to be an easier challenge to achieve than for a mitt romney to come across to people as somebody they want to have in their living room for the next four years talking to them when that has been the challenge all along that people have not for one reason or another really warmed up to him. that's going to be hard to do in the course of a debate and also in the course of a debate where you simultaneously want to be likable but also to rattle your opponent a little bit. >> you have to be negative and irritating and try to get president obama off his game, but at the same time be likable coming on the heels of the 47% remark. >> that's a lot. a lot of work mitt romney has to do. president obama has some real work to do it too. he, as we've seen him throughout the democratic nomination fight, in his debates with hillary clinton, he lost a lot of those debates to her. a couple notable exceptions.
he lost at lo of them. he performed very well against john mccain but he has a tendency to get impatient, to get a little dismissive, to get a little haughty sometimes and not to be -- to put on his best face. both candidates are like -- trying to do all these things simultaneously, they want to be on offense, on defense, rehearsed lines running through their head, video they've seen, practice sessions and in that moment they're out there under these bright lights with all this pressure and unexpected things happen and that's what makes it exciting. we can pregame it forever but unsomething will happen tomorrow night that nobody talked about and that's what we'll be talking about 48 hours from now. >> we're so excited. >> we can't wait. >> the romney campaign has been really going after what they see as a vulnerability, benghazi, and it's clear that not only did things go wrong tragically wrong, but that there was a lack of security, there are reports that there were concerns prior to the attack, and that there
was a lot of confusion in the comments that were made afterwards. so, is it -- is there any way that, given the limitations on the format, this being a domestic debate, any way something like that can come into it? >> go back and look at the debate four years ago, supposed to be about foreign policy, as the economy was cratering, turned into an economic policy debate. i don't think it's going to be that but news has a way of creeping in. i want to say one thing about what john had to say about the work that president obama has to do. i disagree slightly. i don't think he really has work to do for him he doesn't want to game change, he likes the game the way it's going. his work is not to make a mistake, not to -- rock the boat too much. >> we should be cautious about this because the polls are tightening, the national polls, not the battle ground states, but the national polls are tightening and this is not by any means a done deal for either case. >> not a done deal. they were braced for -- and the
obama campaign braced for this tightening, expect more of it. nonethele ttheless his work is messing up. >> don't mess up. in that regard i have to say thank you very much. >> i hope we didn't mess up. >> you both are definitely likable enough. >> soyou, john. >> you are likeable enough, john. i love you, in fact. ruth marcus, thank you. in today's amr moment, a year to remember for the nats, continuing with the division title. the braves lost to the pirates monday night, made it official for the nats, a team that finished last season more than 20 games out of first place now ends the season in the top spot. the next stop is playoff baseball. washington fans are waiting to see just who the first national league opponent will be. what a night it was. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic.
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these two men haven't seen each other in a couple of years, they last saw each other at a labor day parade in 2008 in new hampshire. maybe once or twice since. there was a debate in 2008. >> it's a fascinating thing, andrea. they circle one another for years, and they say plenty of negative stuff about one another. yet they almost never share a room, never a debate stage together. i think that the first -- it's a 90-minute debate. i think at least the first 30 to 45 minutes will be a little bit of a feeling-out period for both of them. never has debated the other before. mitt romney has never debated a single person in a very long time. so i think we're all looking for fireworks and attacks and back and forth. i think at least the first half of the debate and maybe the entire first debate. remember, this is first of three. the entire first debate could be a little bit of a feeling process where no one takes any big risks getting to know one
another in their debate style. i certainly could be proven wrong, but my guess is it's less fireworks than we currently are expecting. >> it's in the capable and experienced hands of jim lahr, and we'll see what happens tonight as well as tonight. the 6:30 release, and tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m., it is new battleground polls for ohio, virginia, florida. that's going to be very important news as well. the nbc "wall street journal" mariss polls. we saw a narrow iing of the polls initially. that is still very much in play. >> i can't wait. a political junkie's dream with all that polling coming up. i can't help but smile. >> we love to see you smiles. that does it for us for this edition of andr"andrea mitchell report reports". we have a big show tomorrow. join us live in denver. my colleague tamron has a look at what's next in "news nation."
roger simon will joan my live. he has interests advice for governor romney. he said, the rom knee campaign is not in a state of disarray. it never got aarrayed in the first place. a big victory for democrats in pennsylvania. a judge blocks the state's controversial voter i.d. law from taking effect this november. what happens next year? i'll talk with co-director of the advancement project who is fighting against the voter i.d. laws in pennsylvania and other state, and the boston globe cynthia needham will talk about the big debate in massachusetts, a war of words between warren and brown. outside where they were debating supporters from both sides going at it. we'll show you the video. now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla? this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah.
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